• Group revenue increased 5%
  • Like-for-likes rose 2.7%
  • Services revenue up 18.8%

Pets at Home has posted a sales upswing as its veterinary services drove growth in what boss Ian Kellett hailed as a “strong” first quarter.

The specialist retailer reported a 5% increase in group revenue to £256.5m in the 16 weeks to July 20, bolstered by 2.7% like-for-like sales growth.

The retailer’s services division boosted its overall performance during the period, with overall and like-for-likes sales up 18.8% to £40.1m and 10.5% respectively.

Pets at Home’s merchandise like-for-likes increased 1.5%, with overall sales up 2.8% to £216.4m.

The retailer opened five new superstores, two veterinary practices, and six grooming salons during the period, and said it is on track to open 10 new superstores and up to 50 vet practises and salons in the current financial year.

Omnichannel sales jumped 80%, 60% of which involved a shopper visiting a store or getting assistance from a member of store staff.

Pets at Home’s profit outlook remains unchanged.

Chief executive Ian Kellett said: “We are pleased with our positive start to the year, delivered through another period of strong growth in our vet group and further momentum in merchandise trading.

”We have continued our everyday lower price repositioning and reduced the reliance on short-term promotional discounts. We remain encouraged by the overall response to our pricing changes and by the number of both new customers and those we have welcomed back.

“We are confident the investments we are making to grow our veterinary business and to reposition our pricing and deliver everyday value for our customers are creating a strong platform for sustainable future growth.”